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Augusta man shot in face seeks $20 million in lawsuit

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 3:54 PM
Last updated 10:46 PM
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A man shot in the head while trying to stop a burglary at his neighbor’s apartment is suing the apartment complex’s management and the men arrested in the shooting for $20 million.

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Wayne Eggins Jr. (left), who was shot in the head while trying to stop a burglary at his neighbor's apartment, is suing the apartment complex's management and the men arrested in the shooting for $20 million.   FILE/STAFF
Wayne Eggins Jr. (left), who was shot in the head while trying to stop a burglary at his neighbor's apartment, is suing the apartment complex's management and the men arrested in the shooting for $20 million.

The lawsuit brought by Wayne Eggins Jr., who nearly died from his wounds, names Wilkinson Real Estate Advisors as a defendant, along with the two men arrested in the shooting: Aaron Bey and Stanley Fields.

The suit says the former Merrick Place Apartments on Skinner Mill Road, now Millbrook Pointe Apart­ments, “has been plagued by continuous and violent criminal conduct for the past decade, and residents are in constant fear for their safety.”

As evidence, the suit points to at least 55 incidents of burglary, robbery and other gun-related charges before the Feb. 18, 2011, shooting.

The suit accuses the apartment complex’s management and corporate officers of ignoring this information and refusing “to provide safety for the residents of the complex.” It also states that management ignored resident complaints about poor lighting, broken doors and overgrown bushes and brushed aside requests for more security officers and deputy patrols.

Eggins, who was shot in the face, has undergone numerous reconstructive surgeries on his jaw and portions of his skull to relieve brain swelling. His injuries have left him with partial paralysis and medical expenses exceeding $400,000, according to the lawsuit.

Eggins is “permanently disabled as the result of the negligence” of Wilkinson Real Estate, the lawsuit states.

The $20 million in damages would cover past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, disability, and pain and suffering, the lawsuit says.

Neither Wilkinson Real Estate nor the suspects have filed a response.

Court records show that Bey pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and is serving an 11-year prison sentence; Fields is scheduled for trial Monday on charges including aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit burglary.

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myfather15 10/05/12 - 06:22 am
This is so pathetic

This is absolutely pathetic. He shoots another man in the face, while committing a burglary and gets 11 years?? He should have got no less than 30 years. We need to send a message to people that do such things. Would he have got life if the victim had died? The victim here is scared for life and has permament disabilities that he will have to deal with for the remainder of this life. The idiot who shot him needs to pay with a large portion of his own life, since he did a horrible thing to another human being. 11 years?? He will be out in less than 6 probably.

southern2 10/05/12 - 09:28 am
One call...that's all!

I praise Mr. Eggins for his heroic efforts in this tragic event but now seems he is the one resorting to burglary in his suit against the deep pocket complex. Knowing an apartment complex is crime ridden and non responsive to maintenance issues is enough to keep me from renting there. No one forced him there right? OK to sue the shooters though. I was burglarized in a west Augusta neighborhood. Never occurred to me to sue the neighborhood association for my losses. No guarantees when or where this will happen. Looks like the taxpayers are the ones who are really on the hook for this, medical bills, fiance baby, disability payments, housing 2 prisoners. Would like to see the total taxpayer cost to date. I do wish Mr. Eggins well in his ongoing recovery.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 10/05/12 - 01:45 pm

If he wins this lawsuit, no apartment owner or manager is safe.

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 10/05/12 - 07:22 pm
I agree with you LL. If the

I agree with you LL. If the place was so terrible, why not move? They are renters, not property owners which makes a quick exit available.

Though I feel for him and wish him the best, it makes no sense to sue the management when it was his choice to put himself in harm's way by intervening during the robbery. A swift call to 911 would have supplied the help. What material things are worth dying for? The cost of such settlements are passed on to the public through higher insurance premiums.

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